lesser of two evils

Black Lives Matter activists don’t love Hillary Clinton, but they’re voting for her

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Most players in the new civil rights movement—popularly referred to as Black Lives Matter— initially avoided wading too much into electoral politics. But in an election season that’s presented America with a candidate who is literally threatening our democracy, some prominent black voices are changing their minds.

At an event last September, Black Lives Matter co-founder Alicia Garza was firm about the group’s position.

“Black Lives Matter as a network will not, does not, has not, ain’t going to endorse any candidates,” Garza said at the 2015 Black Women’s Roundtable Policy Forum in Washington, D.C.. “Now, if there are activists within the movement that want to do that independently, they should feel free.”

“But as a network, that’s not work we’re engaged in yet.”

Since then, though, the stakes have changed—and so has Garza’s position on going public about her vote. And it’s not just her.

Fusion compiled a list of black activists, organizers, and commentators who’ve publicly announced who they have or plan to vote for. We’ll be updating this list regularly until Election Day on Nov. 8.

Alicia Garza told Elle magazine editor-at-large Melissa Harris-Perry:

I voted early. I voted for Clinton, but I don’t support Clinton. I’m not ‘with her’ and I don’t and won’t endorse her. I do not support Hillary Clinton, even as I recognize the difficult challenge we face regarding the need to halt Donald Trump. I respect the choices others feel they must make in this environment. I believe we must ask ourselves what it takes to make a candidate feel accountable to the concrete policy demands of a movement.

April Reign, writer and creator of #OscarsSoWhite, told me:

I’m going to be voting for Hillary, but I’m in the #GirlGuessImWithHer contingent. I’m not a big fan of Hillary Clinton, but Donald Trump scares me.

Brittany Packnett, an organizer with Campaign Zero told Harris Perry:

This is not about me. This is about the work. The best way I can use my platform is to support Secretary Clinton. Our vote is sacred. If it weren’t, people wouldn’t have been trying to steal it from us for so long. I’m hoping that we use our vote wisely on November 8.

DeRay Mckesson, activist, wrote in an op-ed for the Washington Post:

I am voting for Hillary Clinton. Make no mistake, I do not agree with Clinton on everything. For that matter, there are few people in the world with whom I agree on everything.

Marc Lamont Hill, author and activist, said in an interview on nationally syndicated radio show The Breakfast Club:

I wouldn’t vote for her. I’m voting for the Green Party. … They’re not going to win this election. But if the differences between the two candidates aren’t vast enough, then I would rather introduce a third candidate to build a movement. Because every four years, we say, ‘The third party can’t win.’ So we never invest in the third party. We never grow the third party. If they get 5% of the vote, they can be in the debates. And if they’re in the debates, now we can change the conversation.